Komen Shedding Leadership As Backlash Grows

In the wake of the decision to stop providing critical grant money to help low-income women access affordable cancer screens, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has started shedding leadership. Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhatten radiologist on the medical advisory board for the group’s New York chapter said she plans to resign her position unless Komen reverses its decision.

If Plesser does resign, she would join Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, as well as Deb Anthony, the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, both of whom resigned in protest.

And it’s not just leadership Komen has lost. It’s all credibility. It’s proffered justifications rang false on network television, and for a reason–it’s a lie. The rule change that prompted the dissolution of the relationship between Planned Parenthood and Komen was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood.

Not only that, the decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood was driven by the organization’s new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel.

Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations and the new “no-investigations” rule applies only to Planned Parenthood so far. Even Penn State, embroiled in one of the largest child criminal sexual investigations and prosecutions, just received a nice fat new grant from Komen–after adoption of this rule.

And Komen still claims this was not a political decision? Furthermore, the decision was made in December, which begs the question of why Komen made the announcement when they did — to capitalize on and promote an upswing of anti-abortion rhetoric that will be pumped into millions of homes across the nation and in swing states thanks to Randall Terry’s anti-abortion Super Bowl ad?

Or maybe it’s just a callousness coupled with a newly found evangelical partisanship that made the idea of politicizing breast cancer for the sake of grinding the Planned Parenthood ax appealing. Either way, it’s a disaster with deadly consequences.

Related Stories:

Tammy Baldwin, Other Dems, Urge Komen To Reconsider Planned Parenthood Decision

Susan G. Komen Foundation Also Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Shame On The Susan G. Komen Foundation

Photo from NASA Goddard Photo and Video via flickr.


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta7 years ago

Wow, thanks for sharing :-(

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L7 years ago

Komen are basically a corporation that hand out franchises to donating companies, no matter what they produce. Smith & Wesson, KFC, M&M, etc. Komen have warned several organizations against using the phrase "for the cure", but are themselves only using 21% of their donations to research to find a cure.
I've stopped clicking the Breast Cancer button on Click to Donate. I will not support a corporation like Komen until they come back down to Earth and do what they are supposed to do: Support all effirts to find a cure and sponsor Planned Parenthood and stemcell research. AND stop giving the CEO and the founder more than $400,000 in annual salaries. AND stop harassing other groups that work to end breastcancer!

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S7 years ago

Good thing SGK had some employees with a conscience even if the organization does not.

J.L. A.
JL A7 years ago

I applaud these women who stayed true to their ethics and took a stand that may represent personal sacrifice.

Cheryl H.
Cheryl H7 years ago

Just because Komen is saying that PP can apply for a grant in the future doesn't mean they will give it. I have long thought that there was something not quite right about that organization, and the more that comes out just serves to confirm it. A relative of mine was trying to get a team together to do a walk and the organization wanted money up front. Why? I have never heard of such a thing and she didn't know, it just put the group off of the idea as well as the friend who had battled breast cancer, so nobody had any further contact with them. The foundation is more like a corporation and donations directly to PP would do far more good for women's health and cancer screenings. Komen appears to be very untrustworthy.

Mary Vaughn
Mary Vaughn7 years ago

August C. Not sure what your point is.. Republicans have been trying to do everything in their power to take women's rights back to the 50's. (an erawith which I am familiar).
My point was that by the Komen Foundation taking away the funding from PP they were taking away 97% of the funding that went to women who needed many services other than abortion. Many of those women have nowhere else to turn for these services. Only 3% of their money was used for abortions and they did not use Komen money for that purpose. It is also quite possible that among these 3% there could be women who would die by being forced to carry a child to term.

Mary Vaughn
Mary Vaughn7 years ago

Elizabeth M.
Just where in my post did I say I was Pro abortion. I am pro choice. Since this is the law of the land at present then I believe that it is the moral choice of each woman. You have every right to oppose abortion, but you do not have the right to force your morals on others .

Linda T.
Linda T7 years ago

Cancer in any form knows no political party. Seems the Komen Foundation will learn this the hard way. Maybe the Catholic Church along with the Koch Brothers will do what it took millions of everyday americans to do to fund them.